Where the hell have I been? Good question. And it will come as no surprise to hear that I’ve been, you know, baking. Baking my ass off, to be precise. (Though I hasten to add that no amount of baking will ever completely rob me of the attributes for which CurvyMama was named. Have no fear.)
I have been on vacation from my Place of Employment for two weeks, and for most of that time, I have been immersed in my favorite ingredients: flour, butter, sugar, eggs, cream, and pinches of salt. My daughters came back from their respective parts of the world (Rocky Mountain wilderness for one, North Philly art school for the other) to find their home rather a changed place. Sorry, sweetie pies, I don’t have dinner planned for tonight, I’ve got baking to do. Oh, yeah, sorry, there isn’t much food in the house, honey, I haven’t gotten around to grocery shopping for anything but, um, flour, butter, and sugar. So sorry!
Happy-busy is what I’ve been. Making holiday sweets for friends, family and neighbors, and baking for CurvyMama customers. You’ll have to be content with descriptions of the friend-family-and-neighbor stuff, since I forgot to take pics (Hey! Pipe down! I don’t have the presence of mind to photograph every single friggin’ thing I make. It’s taking a while to get used to this metacognitive way of baking. It means shifting from my usual totally-in-the-experience mode to the stepping-outside-yourself-and-turning-into-a-documentarian mode. I’m learning. Slowly. Breathe with me. But mostly, have some mercy.)
So for friends and neighbors, I baked up my traditional cranberry breads, which fold whole, fresh cranberries into an orange-scented batter and bake up all nice & golden brown. They’re festive little guys when they get dressed up; they go out in mini loaf pans wrapped in foil and then layers of red and green tissue paper, tied with red-and-white CurvyMama baker’s twine and exploding in a little pouf of tissue at the top. I also gave out CurvyMama lemon curd this year to a few of my near-and-dear who love it.
And I kept with tradition and sent my dear DesignerPie a shipment of crack for Christmas. I sent one to my mom, too, for her late-December birthday. Yes, you heard me right. I sent crack to my sweet little gray-haired mother in Los Angeles. Happy birthday, mom. Get high.
Before you send the feds to my door, let me tell you how that little treat got its name. I put together some almond bark for DesignerPie a few years back. It’s almond-studded toffee topped with chocolate. The day after it arrived, I got a call from his boyfriend. “Make him give me some,” boyfriend said, plaintively. “He won’t share.” DesignerPie then gets on the phone: “It’s so good, I don’t wanna give him any. I can’t stop eating it. It’s like crack.”
And thus the name was born. So every year, I send crack to DesignerPie. And now I send it to mom, too.
In the midst of the friend-family-and-neighbor baking, I made a bunch of fun stuff for my beloved customers. There were batches of Killer Brownies and Make-Me-Wanna-Kiss-Someone Lemon Bars. (You already saw a pic of the brownies. Still gotta get you one of the lemon bars. Breathe. All in good time.) There was a caramel walnut chocolate tart. I seem to recall a cherry pie or two.
There were some chocolate cream and Milky Way (you can’t see the layer of caramel lining the crust on that one):
And a banana cream even squeezed its way into the lineup:
I’ve had so much fun! But now, only two hours after I delivered the last pie, I’m already starting to miss the floury flurry of activity. The little spaces I carved out in my fridge for my pies seem to pout at me, like a pair of empty arms.
What to do? O, What To Do?
Await The Call, I guess. Someone To Bake For is always the best call of all. (See here for my theme song.)
In the meantime, perhaps my daughters can stand another cherry pie in the house? Or perhaps a full-sized cranberry bread? Hmm. Let me ask them…